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IN THIS ISSUE October 2017 Vol 13 Issue 10 5

5 SCAMS THAT ARE FOOLING EVEN THE SMARTEST VICTIMS Not all scams are so easy to spot. Spammers get more sinister every day, and they use legitimatesounding email addresses, personal data, wellphrased letters, and actual corporate logos

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VARIDESK STANDING DESK A SMART WELLNESS SOLUTION

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82 PERCENT OF MILLENNIALS WOULD RECOMMEND A CAREER IN INSURANCE Optimism for the future of the industry continues in Vertafore’s annual “Millennials in Insurance” survey, which evaluates the millennial generation’s career satisfaction in the industry.

The LAAIA HAS SET UP FUND TO HELP THOSE HIT BY HURRICANE IRMA!

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$1M+ WORKER’S COMP FRAUDSTER ALBERTO HERNANDEZ CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS PLUS RESTITUTION

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Hernandez obtained a minimal workers’ comp policy for his company, Global Staffing Service, LLC., a staffing company that he reported would recruit employees for various construction companies across Florida.

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MARKETSCOUT: BEST PLACES TO WORK IN INSURANCE Best Companies Group recently unveiled its 2017 list of the top companies to work for in the industry.

UK’S INDEPENDENCE PARTY RETHINKING MULTICULTURALISM? “Our culture is being buried by this, being sort of pushed aside. That is a concern that we need to recognise is out there, there is a perception that is out there and we need to address it.”

Windhaven Insurance along with LAAIA raising money to help those impacted by Hurricane Irma. Please help!

The pitfalls of sitting too much have been well-proven, with the gravely serious risks ranging from medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity to increased mortality rates.

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THE LAAIA 2017 TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES ARE NOW ONLINE! Have a booth at the 2017 LAAIA Trade Fair? Most booth images now online!

AGAIN AN ASSIGNMENT OF CLAIM IS A LOSER When will litigants learn that it is not always profitable to take an assignment from tortfeasors.

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PEO OPERATOR SENTENCED TO SERVE EIGHT YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR TAX EVASION, MAIL FRAUD AND WIRE FRAUD Toby Fanning, CFO of SPG, was the individual who first tipped off the IRS to the scam, fatally shot himself in the back yard of his West Knox County home.

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Unbelievable Vintage Ads - Another In Our Series Of Ads From The 30s, 40s, 50s & 60s. This month’s vintage ad shows how you could buy a new car just by switching to Colgate Dental Cream!

PREFER TO READ OFFLINE? DOWNLOAD & VIEW PDF: HERE!


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Boycott The NFL? It looks like it may be a bad year for professional football, as more and more athletes choose to take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem in “protest,” and more and more ex-fans are finding something else to do on a Sunday afternoon.

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Actor and activist Jesse Williams, you may know from his forgettable performance in Grey’s Anatomy, direct from the echo chamber of the Lunatic Left

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JACKSONVILLE, FLA. VOTES BRIGHTWAY BEST HOME AND AUTO INSURANCE AGENCY Florida Times-Union reader poll ranks Jacksonvillebased franchise company No. 1 in two categories.

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CALIFORNIA FARMER’S INSURANCE AGENT SENTENCED IN DECADE-LONG EMBEZZLEMENT SCHEME Valerie Ann Verdugo, 38, of Bakersfield, was arraigned on felony insurance fraud charges.

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FEATURES 5 6

Kim Komando Barry Zalma

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Advertise

HAITIAN NATIONAL SENTENCED TO 4 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ROLE IN EASTERN CONNECTICUT INSURANCE FRAUD

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Inside Track

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Insider Advisor

The evidence at trial indicated that NOZE participated in as many as 50 staged crashes, 11 of which were described in detail during the trial.

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Classifieds

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Say What?

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Back Issues

ADVICE TO YOUR CLIENTS: AFTER IRMA, REPORT LOSSES QUICKLY AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM UNLICENSED INDIVIDUALS

FREE CLASSIFIEDS!

JIHADIST BEHEADING MADE OKLAHOMA COMPANY BETTER PLACE TO WORK FOR MUSLIMS? “I don’t feel regret, because you know what I’ve done. That’s probably going to make Vaughan Foods a better place to work for a Muslim.”

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Star Spangled Banner A Scam?

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Seattle Seahawks Abandoning America? A Sept. 24th group tweet by the Seattle Seahawks explaining their utter disrespect for the country, the flag, the national anthem and their fan base.

Cover Photo Credit: Ron Manera, Jupiter Beach, Florida


OCTOBER 2017 INSURANCE • POLITICS • TECHNOLOGY • PEOPLE

A Publication of AdMax Corp., Inc. Corporate Offices P.O. Box 31551 Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33420 Ron Manera, Publisher/Senior Editor Join Me On Linkedin: HERE Follow Me On Instagram: @rmanera 561.718.0745 • ron@insurmedia.com

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OCTOBER 2017


TECHNOLOGY

5 SCAMS THAT ARE FOOLING EVEN THE SMARTEST VICTIMS

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Really Cool Info - by Kim Komando

any people laugh at scams. We see an email from a mysterious stranger. The note is full of odd phrases and terrible misspellings. We instantly share it on social media. “The Prince of Nigeria wants to send me bars and bars of gold!” we write, along with laughing emoji. “Should I take it?”

effects can be felt for months or years. Most cons want to score fast money, but you’ll want to protect all your information from fraud, not just your credit numbers and bank accounts.

Here are some common scams and ways to defend yourself against them. You’ll want to share this know-how with your family members and friends on social media. It’s so easy to be taken by the swindlers. 1. Job Scam

But not all scams are so easy to spot. Spammers get more sinister every day, and they use legitimate-sounding email addresses, personal data, wellphrased letters, and actual corporate logos to lure their victims. The savviest con artists work remotely, coaxing money out of people they’ve never met in person.

Some people joke about being “between jobs,” but there’s nothing funny about unemployment. Looking for a new job is stressful, and as the weeks turn into months, you may jump at any opportunity, no matter how dubious or grim.

Related: Click here to learn more about a convincing tech support scam that people are falling for. In this era of rampant data theft and cybercrime, it’s more Related: Click here to learn just important than ever to be aware how many people have been of swindlers’ stories because the OCTOBER 2017

targeted by telephone scams. (The percentage is shocking).

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Scammers know this, and they prey on desperate people. They send emails with headings like, “Your Résumé” or “Work From Home Job.” At first, these sound like exciting opportunities. Can you really make $1,200 a week sitting on See Kim Komando Pg 40 www/underwritersinsider.com

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INSURANCE & THE LAW

AGAIN AN ASSIGNMENT OF CLAIM IS A LOSER Expert Analysis & Commentary by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE

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hen will litigants learn that it is not always profitable to take an assignment from tortfeasors. If the tortfeasor has sufficient assets to pay a judgment there is no reason to enter into a deal with the tortfeasor to get a chance at obtaining punitive damages from an insurer. Giving up a bird in hand for millions in the bush is a fools errand. That lesson as learned by the plaintiffs in Intelligent Digital Systems, LLC, Russ & Russ Pc Defined Benefit Pension Plan, Jay Edmond Russ, all individually and as assignees of Jack Jacobs, Robert Moe, Michael Ryan and Martin cFeely, and Jason Gonzalez, Plaintiffs-Appellants v. Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., United States Court Of Appeals For The Second Circuit, 16-3548-

cv, (September 19, 2017).

disclaimer of coverage for Russ’s claims against the insured Intelligent Digital Systems, LLC directors of Visual Management (“IDS”), Russ & Russ PC Defined Systems, Inc. (“VMS”). Benefit Pension Plan (the “Plan”), and Jay Edmond Russ, all BACKGROUND Russ is a New York attorney who founded IDS, a technology Join Barry Zalma’s Blog: company in the digital recording http://www.zalma.com/blog industry. Directly and indirectly (through another wholly-owned company), Russ is the sole officer of IDS. He is also the fiduciary of individually and as assignees of the Plan. insured individuals Jack Jacobs, Robert Moe, Michael Ryan, Martin IDS agreed to sell its assets to McFeely, and Jason Gonzalez, non-party VMS, a company, appealed from the district now dissolved, in the video court’s judgment dismissing technology business. VMS agreed the amended complaint and to pay IDS $1.5 million over time resolving this insurance action and issued a promissory note to in favor of Beazley Insurance that effect, and it agreed also to Company, Inc. (“Beazley”). add Russ to its Board of Directors and to hire him as a consultant. The primary issue is Beazley’s The VMS Board of Directors

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, practiced law in California for more than 43 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer. He now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant and expert witness specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He founded Zalma Insurance Consultants in 2001 and serves as its only consultant. 6

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OCTOBER 2017


met and, after a motion was made and seconded, approved the transaction and Russ’s appointment, conditioned upon completion of the transaction. The transaction closed and VMS’s general counsel confirmed to Russ that Russ would be a director as of its May 2008 meeting. Russ participated in three board meetings and was paid for his services as a board member.

brought by or on behalf of any of the Directors and Officers.”

their rights under the Policy to plaintiffs.

The Policy defines “Insureds” as Plaintiffs sued Beazley and sought “the Directors and Officers and indemnification for the unpaid the Company.” amounts of the judgments. After trial the jury found that Russ had Russ later announced that he been duly elected or appointed was resigning from the board within the meaning of the Policy. and might sue VMS for payments Final judgment was entered in owed under the promissory Beazley’s favor. note. Plaintiffs initiated an action against VMS and the other five DISCUSSION directors in March 2009. Two principal issues are Beazley provided presented: insurance coverage to (1) whether the Greed may be good on Wall VMS under a directors insured v. insured and officers liability Street but it has no place in clause applies to this insurance policy insurance litigation. The policy case, and (the “Policy”). The (2) assuming it Policy provides that in this case was clear and unambiguous. does, whether Russ “[t]he Insurer shall Since the insurer owed nothing the was duly elected or pay on behalf of the appointed a director. tortfeasors walked free from the Directors and Officers Under New York law, all Loss which is not exposure and the plaintiffs gained which the parties agree indemnified by the nothing giving up their right to collect applies to the Policy, Company resulting “insurance policies from any Claim first from the tortfeasors. Greed took away are interpreted made against the according to general good judgment.” Directors and Officers rules of contract during the Policy interpretation.” Period for a Wrongful Act.” This initial interpretation of the Beazley denied VMS coverage contract and whether its terms The Policy defines “Directors and under the Policy and cited the are ambiguous are questions Officers” to include “all persons insured v. insured exclusion. of law for the court and so the who were, now are, or shall The litigating parties settled appellate court must review the be duly elected or appointed the action, with four directors district court’s interpretation of directors.” Section III(F) of the agreeing to pay a total of $75,000, the contract and its terms as if Policy contains what the parties all five directors agreeing to heard for the first time. The court refer to as an “insured v. insured the entry of judgments against must interpret the contract to exclusion,” which excludes them in amounts exceeding give effect to the intent of the coverage for “any Claim . . . by, $2 million, plaintiffs agreeing parties as expressed in the clear on behalf of, or at the direction to “unconditionally forbear language of the contract and of any of the Insureds, except collection” of the judgments and to the extent such Claim . against the five directors, and See Zalma Page 37 . . is employment-related and all five directors assigning OCTOBER 2017

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LIFE INFO

VARIDESK STANDING DESK A SMART WELLNESS SOLUTION By Merilee Kern

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he pitfalls of sitting too much have been well-proven, with the gravely serious risks ranging from medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity to increased mortality rates. Prolonged sedentary time is also associated with a host of other adverse issues, including weight gain, neck and back pain and even anxiety. It’s no wonder that standing desks have become an increasingly popular way to give workers—and companies combat these concerns. at large—an advantage by boosting productivity. In fact, Even beyond mitigating one recent study by Texas A&M actual health problems that University’s Health Science can manifest from too much Center School of Public Health seat time, yet more research found that stand-capable reveals that standing desks can workstations did substantially

© Veridesk improve worker productivity. Over the study’s six-month period, average worker productivity increased a full 46% over those with traditional, seated desk configurations. Given my penchant for physical

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bout the author: Branding, business and entrepreneurship success pundit, Merilee Kern, MBA, is an influential media voice and lauded communications strategist. As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List International News Syndicate,” she’s a revered brand and consumer product trends voice of authority who spotlights noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers. Merilee may be reached online at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www. Facebook.com/TheLuxeList

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LIFE INFO fitness and maximized output during office hours, coupled with my own fair share of chronic back pain, I jumped at the chance to test out the “Pro Plus 36” standing desk from VARIDESK, which makes various active office products all designed to counter the sedentary lifestyle. I found this model of particular interest since its 36” width can accommodate dual-monitor setups or larger workspace needs thanks to a two-tiered design. The upper surface holds one or two displays, while a separate lower keyboard/ mouse deck provides ample room for tech basics and accessories. When my package arrived, I was thrilled to see that the unit came out of the box fully assembled, ready to be placed right on top of my existing desk. The engineering also proved to be marvelous, with the company’s patented, spring-assisted lift mechanism allowing the device to be easily and smoothly raised and lowered in mere seconds to the desired height amid the 11 settings that are available. Also notable is that you don’t need to move or rearrange any devices or components when raising or lowering the VARIDESK. It all just moves with the system. Impressively OCTOBER 2017

© Veridesk sturdy, this apparatus can stably hold up to 35 pounds even when extended to its full height. Within minutes my workspace was transformed, giving me the freedom to work either standing or sitting—and to alternate between these two options with abandon. While working while standing can admittedly take some getting used to, the allure of increased energy, focus and proficiency; more calories burned; fewer body aches and pains and even a longer life span make this standing desk innovation one well worth the nominal $395 investment.

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In all, VARIDESK is a sound allin-one way to work smarter, be healthier and perform at peak levels. Table of Contents

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NEWS

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OCTOBER 2017


NEWS

82 PERCENT OF MILLENNIALS WOULD RECOMMEND A CAREER IN INSURANCE Optimism for the future of the industry continues in Vertafore’s annual "Millennials in Insurance” survey

New to this year’s survey, Vertafore asked millennials about how they view external threats to the insurance industry. The results revealed only 13 percent ENVER – Vertafore©, The future of insurance is bright are concerned that InsurTech the leader in modern startups such as Trov, Metromile, It makes sense that 82 percent of insurance technology, and Lemonade, will impact their millennials would recommend today released results from business – further solidifying the a career in insurance to their its fourth annual “Millennials optimism in the strength of the friends, as more than a third (39%) in Insurance” survey, which industry. were recruited by friends in the evaluates the millennial industry. And while millennials generation’s career satisfaction in are often criticized for jumping Benefits of a career in insurance the industry. from job to job, 67 percent of Millennials cite many benefits millennials have been in the to a career in insurance, with Despite the looming talent gap, industry for three years or longer career growth opportunities with 25 percent of insurance and plan to stay in the industry agents expected to retire in the for as long as possible. See Millennials In Insurance Pg 14 next two years, 86 percent of millennial insurance professionals are somewhat or very optimistic that the industry will be able to attract future workers. Millennials cited technology adoption and other industry qualities, like worklife balance and career growth opportunities, as those that make insurance a desirable career.

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an encouraging roadmap for insurance companies to use as a guide for attracting and retaining next generation talent.”

“This year’s survey reveals that the millennial generation is not only thriving in the insurance industry, but the vast majority – 82 percent – would go so far as recommend a career in insurance to friends and family,” said Ben Deda, VP of marketing at Vertafore. “These results build OCTOBER 2017

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THE LAAIA 2017 TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES ARE NOW ONLINE! CLICK IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW


NEWS Continued From Page 14

MILLENNIALS IN INSURANCE (63%), rate of compensation (55%), and work-life balance (50%) topping the list. As for what roles are most popular for the age group, account management or customer services ranks highest (39%) with producer or sales roles following (23%). Millennials are also 2.5 times more likely to be an underwriter or adjuster when compared to baby boomers. Technology innovation continues Over the past year, usage of social media and communications technologies has increased to support and retain customer relationships. Video messaging was used by agents 75 percent more often in 2017 than in 2016, while Instagram (+50%), instant messaging/chatting (+41%), and texting (+14%) have also grown in usage since last year. Overall, the majority of millennials (59%) are satisfied with their company’s use of technology and believe that technology is increasing efficiency by arming them with the tools they need to compete and succeed (78%). 14

The Underwriter’s Insider

“Between the strides made in technology adoption and the benefits that a career in insurance offers, young professionals are looking to insurance for lifelong careers,” added Deda. “We couldn’t agree more that the insurance industry, and particularly the independent insurance agent, has a strong future.”

About Vertafore

Vertafore’s comprehensive insurance management software solutions allow brokers and carriers to adapt to the evolving insurance industry by efficiently scaling their businesses through deeper access to information and insights. The Vertafore platform features fast innovation, partnerships with the best technology companies, and Vertafore’s 2017 “Millennials customizable solutions to help in Insurance” survey was companies remain independent administered online from August during a time of industry 16-25, 2017, and received disruption. nearly 3,500 responses from professionals currently employed As the leader in modern insurance in the insurance industry, technology with the largest including 1,556 millennials. For customer base in the industry, the purposes of this survey, a Vertafore connects every point millennial is between 19 and 35 of the distribution channel, from years of age and a baby boomer agencies and carriers to MGAs, is aged 55 and older. For ideas MGUs, and state governments. For and actions to take today, visit more information about Vertafore, Vertafore’s blog at http://www. visit www.vertafore.com, read the vertafore.com/Resources/Blog/ company’s blog, and follow the What-Millennials-Want-from-acompany on Twitter, LinkedIn, Career-in-Insurance. and Facebook. Table of Contents

OCTOBER 2017


Lend A Helping Hand Florida Needs You Click Here To Donate

OCTOBER 2017

Insurance Agents Helping The Community The LAAIA has set up a fund to help those who were hit the hardest by Hurricane Irma. Help us by clicking on the link and donate whatever you can (no amount is too small)

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NEWS

$1M+ WORKER’S COMP FRAUDSTER ALBERTO HERNANDEZ CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS PLUS RESTITUTION

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ORT MYERS, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and the Department of Financial Services (DFS) today announced the recent conviction of Ivan Alberto Hernandez-Madrigal (Hernandez) following an in-depth investigation into Hernandez’s attempt to fraudulently provide his company’s clients, which consisted of various construction industry employers, with workers’ compensation insurance in return for a fee. In addition, Hernandez was found to have performed various payroll services for those clients where he withheld and pocketed thousands of dollars in state and federal payroll taxes.

Global Staffing Services, LLC., to Professional Staffing and Payroll Services (PSPS), in March 2015 but he did not change the company’s reported activities and previously obtained workers’ compensation policy.

DIFS’ investigation revealed that instead of acting as a recruiting company, Hernandez and PSPS engaged in numerous client agreements by fraudulently claiming to provide workers’ compensation coverage to multiple construction industry employers in return for a fee. In addition, Hernandez agreed to provide payroll services to these clients and oversee the withholding and reporting of DFS’ Division of Investigative state and federal taxes from and Forensic Services (DIFS) found Hernandez obtained a minimal workers’ compensation policy for his company, Global Staffing Service, LLC., a staffing company that he reported would recruit employees for various construction companies across Florida. Hernandez listed that he employed two individuals with an estimated annual payroll of $51,000. Shortly after, Hernandez changed the name of 16

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PSPS client’s payroll. By doing so, Hernandez operated PSPS as an unlicensed employee leasing company with no workers’ compensation insurance policy in place for his clients. To add, various employers using PSPS’ minimal workers’ compensation policy had employees that suffered from work-related injuries. Hernandez failed to report the injury claims to the insurance company but would instead pay the medical bills out of PSPS’ bank account or he would deny the high-dollar claims himself. By Hernandez not reporting these workers’ compensation claims, See Workers’ Comp Fraud Page 36

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(800) 229-2009 ext 3 Mention code UWI sales@accuagency.com Request more info at http:/ /accu.agency/UWI www/underwritersinsider.com Table of Contents

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THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS No Rate Increases Post Harvey & Irma?

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Image Credit: Creative Commons

ne analyst, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. says “no.” “We think consensus estimates are converging on a $20 billion to $30 billion insured loss estimate for Hurricane Harvey, and on a $20 billion

after the two intense storms, Germany’s Munich Re said in yet there are months left in a statement last month. hurricane season.

Copperpoint Insurance Major Reinsurer Predicts Named One Of The Most Profit Hit Resulting From Admired Companies Harvey & Irma

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ne major reinsurer is on the records warning it could miss it’s profit target in 2017 as a result of two major hurricanes - so far. “These two events are expected to result in high insured losses, which the market and Munich Re are unable to $40 billion U.S. insured loss to quantify at the moment,” estimate for Hurricane Irma, plus another $5 billion to $10 billion of insured Caribbean losses.” The company believes that auto physical damage along with commerical property losses will make up most of the insured losses from Harvey, while Irma will generate losses more in line with a typical hurricane. The analyst was predicting only “modest” increases 18

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opperPoint Insurance Companies has been named one of the 2017 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies, according to AZ Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ. All the Arizona Most Admired winners were recognized at an awards reception held Thursday, Sept. 14 at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Scottsdale. Arizona’s Most Admired Companies are

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THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS selected based on how a company has performed in the following areas: Workplace Culture, Leadership Excellence, Corporate and Social Responsibility, Customer Opinion and Innovation.

Why Utilities Don’t Bury Power Lines Underground

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he recent lengthy power outages post Hurricane Irma have raised the question of why utility companies don’t simply bury power lines underground to avoid hurricane damage. The answer is simple: Cost. The

to a 2012 study, it costs $174K per mile to bury utilities in rural areas and $11 million per mile in urban areas. It just makes economic sense for utilities to restore service after a storm, rather than bury power lines undergroud, even though it may take an army (FPL estimated it had 20,000 workers prior to Irma) to respond to damage repair after a significant storm.

Clinton Voters More Regretful Than Trump Voters

Image Credit: Creative Commons

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City of Tallahassee Florida, for example, estimated it would cost $2 billion to bury its power lines - that’s $500 million more than Altanta just paid for it’s brand-new, state of the art football stadium. According OCTOBER 2017

new poll conducted by Politico/Morning Consult Survey shows that “Among Clinton voters, 13 percent say they would either vote for a different candidate or not vote at all,” the survey finds, while that number among Trump backers is four points lower.” This hasn’t kept Clinton in the shadows, however, as the losing candidate has been very active on the talk circuit mostly explaining how the Table of Contents

election loss was everybody’s fault but hers. In the righteously confused mind of Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, the email scandal, the Clinton Foundation pay to play, the Bill Clinton/Loretta Lynch secret meeting on the tarmac and years of an incompetent run as Secretary of State had nothing to do with her loss.

Gallagher Acquires Lutgert Insurance

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rthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG) announced the acquisition of Naples, Fla.-based Premier Insurance, LLC. Founded in 1953, Lutgert Insurance is a retail property/casualty broker and benefit consultant specializing in all areas of commercial and personal insurance, with a focus on construction, hospitality, real estate development/property managers and high-networth individuals.

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NEWS

MARKETSCOUT: BEST PLACES TO WORK IN INSURANCE

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ALLAS, – MarketScout, the Dallas, Texas based insurance exchange and specialty MGA, announced in September that it is one of the Best Places to Work in Insurance for the sixth consecutive year. Business Insurance Magazine and

is an annual sponsored content feature presented by the Custom Publishing unit of Business Insurance and Best Companies Group that lists the agents, brokers, insurance companies and other providers with the highest levels of employee engagement and satisfaction. Harrisburg, Pa.-based Best Best Companies Group recently Companies Group identifies unveiled its 2017 list of the top the leading employers in the companies to work for in the insurance industry by conducting industry. The Best Places to Work a free two-part assessment of in Insurance program recognizes each company. employers for their outstanding performance in establishing The first part is a questionnaire workplaces where employees completed by the employer about can thrive, enjoy their work and company policies, practices and help their companies grow. demographics. The second part is a confidential employee survey “Our team is unique because on engagement and satisfaction. they are highly entrepreneurial The program divides employers and technologically capable. The into the categories of small, 25environment is fast-paced and 249 employees; medium, 250full of energy. It requires a special 999 employees; and large, 1,000 person to fit in. We are proud of or more employees. This year’s our culture and especially proud report features 75 companies of of our team,” said MarketScout’s various sizes, from 25 employees Chairman and CEO, Richard Kerr. to more than 4,000. Best Places to Work in Insurance

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The Underwriter’s Insider

the winning companies will be unveiled as a sponsored content supplement in the November issue of Business Insurance and online at BusinessInsurance. com. About MarketScout MarketScout is an insurance distribution and underwriting company headquartered in Dallas, Texas with specialty expertise in many areas. The firm is a Lloyd's Coverholder and MGA for U.S. insurers. MarketScout owns and operates the MarketScout Exchange as well as over 40 other online and traditional underwriting and distribution venues MarketScout is founder of the Council for Insuring Private Clients (CIPC) and administers the Certified Personal Risk Manager (CPRM) designation in partnership with The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research.

MarketScout has offices in The ranking and profiles of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit us at MarketScout.com. Table of Contents

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NEWS

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UK’S INDEPENDENCE PARTY RETHINKING MULTICULTURALISM?

ondon Britain’s Independence Party, known as UKIP, has a newly elected leader, Henry Bolton. The UIKP leader, who said during his campaign he wanted to move to issues other than Islam has now seemingly changed focus to directly address populist concerns that Islam is pushing out British culture. He said:“There is a concern amongst the population writ large that there is an undermining through general immigration and the weight of numbers that we’ve got - and Islam as well - that our culture is being OCTOBER 2017

buried by this, being sort of pushed aside. That is a concern that we need to recognise is out there, there is a perception that is out there and we need to address it.”

Muslim populations have unique cultures and tend not to assimilate, often being accused of “cultural imperialism” as they demand that pre-existing culturals adopt to their strict standards of dress, food and Addressing the issue of a growing five-times daily prayer. and unassimilating Muslim population, Bolton said, “It [Islam] The pro-BREXIT, populist UKIP has is harming our culture, traditions gained in prominence lately with 24 and way of life. Some talk of multi- sitting members of Parliament. culturism, but are we not permitted to preserve our own British culture? In other breaking news, Austria is the latest country to ban the “Of course we are. And this party Muslim Burqa after France, Belgium, shall.” Kosovo, Azerbaijan and Tunisia. Table of Contents

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NEW - ANALYSIS This Month’s Workers’ Comp Fraud Story Sponsored By MyPEOAgency.

PEO OPERATOR SENTENCED TO SERVE EIGHT YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR TAX EVASION, MAIL FRAUD AND WIRE FRAUD

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NOXVILLE, Tenn. – On September 20, 2017, Andrea Rudd, 38, of Powell, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, Chief U.S. District Judge, to consecutively serve 60 months for tax evasion and 36 months for mail and wire fraud, for a total of 96 months in federal prison. Upon her release from prison, she will be supervised by U.S. Probation for three years. Rudd was also ordered to pay $15,766,417.32

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The Underwriter’s Insider

in restitution to the victims of her offenses, $10,377,785.04 of which will go to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In April 2017, Rudd, pleaded guilty to a twocount information charging her with the abovereferenced offenses. This information, on file with U.S. District Court, contains a detailed account of her scheme in committing these crimes.

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NEW - ANALYSIS Rudd was the owner of HR Comp, LLC (HR Comp) in Powell, Tennessee. HR Comp, conducted business through several subsidiaries collectively known as the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Entities. Operating both independently and in the name of the PEO Entities, HR Comp entered into contracts with client companies to process their payroll.

two Turkey Creek PEO executives who committed suicide before they could be charged in another massive fraught involving over $30 million.

In conjunction with handling the payroll, HR Comp was responsible for collecting and remitting money owed by the companies and their employees for payroll taxes to the IRS. Additionally, HR Andrea Rudd, 38, of Powell, Tennessee Comp, both independently and through the PEO Entities, entered into contracts with the client companies to provide worker’s compensation insurance. Between 2011 and 2015, instead of remitting the money collected from her client companies for payroll taxes to the IRS, Rudd converted the funds for her own personal use. Additionally, client agencies sent money to HR Comp, in exchange for what Rudd and her co-conspirators represented to be worker’s compensation insurance. However, false certificates of insurance were provided to the client companies and the insurance was never purchased.

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Joe Usher III, CEO of Service Provider Group, a Turkey Creek PEO, from whom Rudd learned her felonious ways from before moving on to her own scam, had previously been sentenced to 70 months in prison and restitution to the IRS for tax evasion and conspiracy to commit tax evasion. Toby Fanning, CFO of SPG, was the individual who first tipped off the IRS to the scam, fatally shot himself in the back yard of his West Knox County home. Philip Lawrence, the COO of the company also shot himself in a nearby cemetary. Both men took their lives before charges could be brought against them. Interesting how the perpetrators of these type of crimes seem never to have an exit strategy other than prison or suicide. Investigative agencies involved in this case included IRSCriminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Dale represented the United States through court proceedings. www/underwritersinsider.com

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JIM CARREY GIVES WACKIEST RED CARPET INTERVIEW EVER

ELON MUSK PUT TOGETHER A VID ON HOW NOT TO LAND AN ORBITAL ROCKET BOOSTER!

UNBELIEVABLE VINTAGE ADS

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othing illustrates the changes in our national culture better than vintage ads from the Mad Men era or earlier - many of which would be considered over-the-top sexist, politically incorrect or just plain goofy today.

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nfortunatly, we can’t locate the rest of this ad because it would be interesting to learn how Colgate Dental Cream was responsible for allowing Phil to buy a swell new car. Perhaps, that dazzling smile earned Phil a big raise at the office. Whatever the reason, the little women was thrilled!

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“The Final Authority on Everything!”

ADVISOR

for a redress of grievances.” So far as I know, Congress was not WARNING! The Advisor has been known contemplating a law prohibiting to be politically incorrect and football players from protesting. may send certain Millennials scurrying to their safe space. The 1st Amendment has nothing Also not recommended for to do with one’s utterances, Progressives who are easily writings or behavior while in the offended. Please read at your own risk. scope of one’s employment, nor does it guarantee that your free speech shall be free of negative Boycott The NFL? consequences. The football players kneeling s a frequent reader of during the playing of our National The Insider, I’m curious Anthem are doing so within the about your position on the scope of their employment. That NFL “kneelers,” even with the field belongs to the NFL owners. 1st Amendment. Personally, If an owner were to prohibit the my family is inclined to protest, he would have every right

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skip football this year. Thanks! G.G. Dallas, TX

to terminate a player that refused to comply. But the owners are cowards and fear interrupting the dynamics of their team more than a little anti-Americanism, until attendance, viewership and revenues tank. Then the owners will become great patriots again and prohibit the protests. What are the players protesting? Nobody is quite sure - and there have been a multitude of responses from the players themselves. It all started in August 2016 when then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee as the Star Spangled Banner played.

First, let’s dispose of the First Amendment argument which is often foolishly raised in defense of the NFL protests: The 1st Amendment merely states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government 26

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In an interview on KTVU-TV, Kaepernick stated, “There’s a lot of things that need to change. One specifically is police brutality. There’s people being murdered unjustly and not held accountable. Cops are getting paid leave for killing people. That’s not right. That’s not right by anyone’s standards.” So, the original cause was cops and Blacks, although statistics, in one case compiled by a Black Harvard professor, [here] show no racial bias in police shootings. As a matter of fact, more Whites have been shot by Black cops than Blacks by White cops. In the infamous Michael Brown, Ferguson, MO case, it turns out there was no “hands up, don’t OCTOBER 2017

Colin Keapernick

shoot,” plea by Brown before being shot - in fact Brown was in the process of charging the officer when downed. Nevertheless, the false narrative sounded so damn good to those who would refuse to take responsibility for their own dysfunctional communities that it gave birth to the racist Table of Contents

group Black Lives Matter (“What do we want? Dead cops!”) and a boatload of unnecessary racial tension in the country. Since Kaepernick’s first knee, many other primarily Black players have joined the protests while the stated gripes have grown in scope to include “Black oppression,” “White supremacy,” “pay inequality,” “White racism” and, of course, “anti-Trump,” as well as a host of other specious arguments against the country and their fellow citizens. Therefore, G.G. the Advisor will proudly join millions of other patriotic Americans by boycotting the NFL in 2017 - and recommend strongly you do as well. www/underwritersinsider.com

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BROWARD COUNTY ENTRY LEVEL ACCOUNT MANAGER Growing MGA is looking for a highly motivated & responsible individual. Duties include managing accounts from our distribution channel --- quoting, binding and servicing multiple lines of business. Incredible opportunity for someone looking to learn and grow in a company. Send resumes to info@ everiskpro.com

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NEWS

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. VOTES BRIGHTWAY BEST HOME AND AUTO INSURANCE AGENCY Florida Times-Union reader poll ranks Jacksonville-based franchise company No. 1 in two categories. -

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protected,” said Michael Miller. “We’re thrilled that consumers in Jacksonville, which is where the company got its start, value the services we offer and voted us the No. 1 Agency for Home and Auto Insurance. Thank you, Jacksonville.”

here to learn about career opportunities at Brightway. About Brightway Insurance

Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty insurance retailer selling through a network of franchised independent stores throughout the country. With 27 stores in Northeast With more than $479 million in Florida (Duval, St. Johns, Clay and annualized written premium, the Nassau counties), consumers in company is one of the largest Northeast Florida are sure to find property and casualty agencies a local Brightway Agent who can in the United States. help you find the best coverage for your home, apartment, car, Brightway began franchising boat, motorcycle and much operations in 2008 and has since more. Brightway agencies also grown to more than 700 people in offer Umbrella insurance. 17 states serving customers in all

ACKSONVILLE, Fla., (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jacksonvillebased Brightway Insurance, a national property/ casualty insurance retailer selling through a network of franchised independent agencies throughout the country, has been named Best Home Insurance Agency and Best Auto Insurance Agency by the Florida TimesUnion, Jacksonville’s hometown, Brightway began franchising operations in 2008 and is now daily newspaper. one of the largest property and The newspaper held a contest casualty agencies in the United where readers nominated their States with more than 750 people favorite local businesses for in 17 states. Nearly 240 people the Bold City Best awards and work at Brightway’s Home Office featured winners in a special in Jacksonville, and more than section in the Sept. 24, Sunday 140 people have realized their dream of business ownership paper. through Brightway. Click here to “Brightway offers expert counsel, learn more about becoming a more choice of insurance brands Brightway Franchise Owner.

50 states. Forbes has recognized the company as America’s No. 1 Franchise to Buy. Additionally, the company was named a top franchise three years in a row by Entrepreneur magazine and one of the fastest-growing private companies in America nine consecutive years by Inc. 5000. People wishing to learn more about franchise ownership with Brightway may visit BrightwayDifference.com and find us on LinkedIn. Consumers and world-class service from a seeking a better insurance buying Brightway is currently recruiting recognized brand name, ensuring experience may visit Brightway. for its next training class slated you and your family are totally com and find us on Facebook. to begin Monday, Nov. 6. Click 30

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NEWS

CALIFORNIA FARMER’S INSURANCE AGENT SENTENCED IN DECADE-LONG EMBEZZLEMENT SCHEME

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AKERSFIELD, Calif. — Valerie Ann Verdugo, 38, of Bakersfield, was arraigned on felony insurance fraud charges for obtaining insurance coverage without paying the carrier on those policies for more than a decade.

An investigation by the served Verdugo with a license Department of Insurance’s suspension order on April 16, Investigations Branch uncovered 2016. evidence that while working for an insurance agency in Bakersfield, Verdugo would allow her own personal auto and homeowner policies to lapse when premiums were due and “Verdugo allegedly used her then simply write a new policy position as a licensed insurance with minor changes to avoid agent to take advantage of her detection by auditors. insurer, which also happened to be her employer,” said Insurance When the premium was not paid Commissioner Dave Jones. and the policy lapsed again, Verdugo would allegedly repeat Verdugo, a licensed agent, the transaction scheme. Valerie Ann Verdugo, 38 surrendered herself to the Kern County Sheriff’s Department and Evidence revealed Verdugo was booked on one felony count did the same for a number of On September 6, 2017, licensed of grand theft and one felony friends and family, ultimately insurance agent, Valerie count of embezzlement. allowing more than 70 policies Ann Verdugo, pleaded Nolo to lapse and then rewriting Contendere to one misdemeanor them. According to investigators, count of insurance fraud in Kern Verdugo’s scheme not only County Superior Court. provided her with insurance coverage she did not pay for but Verdugo was sentenced to four led to Farmers insurance losing days in county jail, three years more than $11,000 in uncollected court probation, 80 hours of premiums for insurance coverage community service, $11,000.35 the company provided. restitution to the victim carrier and $570 in court fines. Verdugo’s The Kern County District license has been suspended. The Attorney’s Office is prosecuting department is taking appropriate this case. Department of action to revoke Verdugo’s Insurance investigators license. OCTOBER 2017

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Notable Quotes In The News

SAY WHAT?

offensive tackle Alejandro Villanuev broke ranks, showing patriotism and love of country by entering the field, standing with his hand over his heart during the national anthem while every other player remained in the Vaughn Foods Now A “Better locker room “protesting.” While Americans are Place To Work For A Muslim?” abandoning the NFL by the millions as a result of the blatant disrespect for flag and country don’t feel regret, because you by coddled millionaires, beginning with Colin know what I’ve done. That’s Kaepernick, President Trump finally spoke up probably going to make Vaughan on the issue in late September calling for a Foods a better place to work for a Muslim.” boycott of the NFL and harshly criticizing those millionaire-player-celebrities claiming to Muslim food worker be oppressed. We won’t be watching... Alton Nolen when Meanwhile NASCAR owners are backing asked by police President Trump and threaten to fire any if he regretted driver that does not stand for the national murdering and anthem. beheading a coworker, 54-year-old Seahawks Abandon America Colleen Hufford in Moore, Oklahoma. Nolen had been suspended by Vaughn Foods after s a team, we have decided arguing with Hufford and telling her he did we will not participate in the not like “white people.” Nolen’s Facebook page national anthem. We will not stand with radical Muslim and pro-Sharia posts. Somehow, we can’t concur with Nolen that for the injustice that has plaqued people Vaughn Foods will now be a better place to of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made work for Muslims... on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms. We Respect For Football Team More remain committed in continuing to work Important Than Respect For Country? towards equality and justice for all.”

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Image Credit: Creative Commons

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L team.”

ike I said, I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin upset that former Army Ranger Steelers 32

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A Sept. 24th group tweet by the Seattle Seahawks explaining their utter disrespect for the country, the flag, the national anthem and their fan base. Their claim that their snub is to “oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms,” goes completely unexplained as to the identify of those that would “deny” as well as what “basic freedoms” are being denied.

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National Anthem A Scam?

Image Credit: Creative Commons

[Saying] we need to stand and pledge for the allegiance and this anthem thing is a scam. This is not a part of football. [The pregame national anthem] was invented in 2009 from the government [by] paying the NFL to market military recruitment — to get more people to fight wars to die. This is not — nothing to do with the NFL or the American pastime or tradition. This is to get boys and girls to go fly overseas and go kill people… They’re marketing and pumping millions of dollars into the NFL to get us to put on a pageant in front of the NFL football games to get you to go off and fight.”

You have the veto by the heckler, who threatens to protest and disrupt the speech so the college may withdraw the speaker’s invitation so they won’t be a disturbance. These kinds of things really threaten the entire educational system in my view, the integrity of it. We have a heritage of free speech. It’s in our constitution, it’s deeply embedded in our whole approach to life and we need to push back so we are going to push back. Thirty-three percent of public institutions have some sort of speech codes that constrict freedom of speech as I think most people would define it under the First Amendment. This is a troubling trend. We want to call out and talk to college presidents, deans, faculties … trustees to say ‘make sure that you are not discriminating in any way against people’s right to speak or discriminating against them academically or otherwise if they have the courage to defend their beliefs.”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking out in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in September after a conservative pundit, Ben Shapiro, cost Berkley University Attorney General Jeff Sessions $600,000 in security to enable Shapiro to speak on campus. Ironically, the University No More Safe Spaces? likes to bill itself as a bastion of “free speech,” when nothing could be further from the truth. oo much suppression of free Liberal hate groups like Antifa and BLM love to and open speech on college preach tolerance while actively shutting down campuses today. Particularly any speech with which they disagree. It’s just conservatives being silenced in many ways. another example of liberal hypocrosy. Controversial speakers are being blocked. Actor and activist Jesse Williams, you may know from his forgettable performance in Grey’s Anatomy, direct from the echo chamber of the Lunatic Left, claiming The Star Spangled Banner is a recruitment ploy for the U.S. Military and has “nothing to do with the “American tradition.” Aren’t you glad we have geniuses like Williams to explain this all to the rest of us?

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BACK ISSUES

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BACK ISSUES

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NEWS Continued From Page 16

WORKERS’ COMP FRAUD as mandated by law, the injured employees were left with thousands of dollars in medical debt. The investigation went on to reveal Hernandez pocketed the federal and state tax withholdings retained from the employee paychecks instead of reporting the funds to the appropriate government branches. As a result of his actions, Hernandez defrauded the client companies of approximately $1,035,662.00. Earlier this month, Hernandez pled no contest to RICO, aggravated white collar crime, money laundering, scheme to defraud, uttering a forged instrument and violating a stop work order. Hernandez was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by 30 years of probation and was ordered to pay $1,034,662.00 in restitution. This case was prosecuted by the Fort Myers Office of Assistant State Attorney J.D. Miller, 20th Judicial Circuit.

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HAITIAN NATIONAL SENTENCED TO 4 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ROLE IN EASTERN CONNECTICUT INSURANCE FRAUD

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eirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MACKENZY NOZE, 33, a citizen of Haiti last residing in Norwich, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven to 48 months of imprisonment for staging car accidents for the purpose of defrauding automobile insurance companies. On June 15, 2017, a jury found NOZE guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud. According to the evidence presented during the trial, between March 2011 and February 2014, NOZE and others conspired to stage numerous car crashes in eastern Connecticut for the purpose of defrauding automobile insurance companies and enriching themselves. A high percentage of these planned crashes were single-vehicle accidents on remote roads where there were no witnesses other Table of Contents

than the occupants of the crashed vehicle. After each staged accident, the defendants filed fraudulent property damage and bodily injury claims with various automobile insurance companies. They then collected payouts on the fraudulent claims from the victim insurance companies. These payouts typically ranged from approximately $10,000 to $30,000 per accident. The evidence at trial indicated that NOZE participated in as many as 50 staged crashes, 11 of which were described in detail during the trial. Judge Meyer ordered NOZE to pay restitution in the amount of $207,083.36. NOZE was arrested on May 23, 2016, and is detained. He is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and faces immigration proceedings after he serves his sentence. Six other individuals have been charged and convicted as a result of this investigation.

OCTOBER 2017


ANALYSIS - BARRY ZALMA Continued From Page 7

ZALMA

Russ. Indeed, his consultant’s agreement specified that he was an independent contractor and not an employee.

give words and phrases in the contract their plain meaning.

Accordingly, plaintiffs’ challenge to the application of the insured v. insured exclusion to Russ’s claims fails on the merits.

By limiting the trial to the issue of whether Russ was duly elected or appointed, the district court essentially ruled as a matter of law that the insured v. insured clause applied to this case, rejecting plaintiffs’ contention that at a minimum there was ambiguity in the clause and that the exclusion could be read as applying only to claims brought by directors in their capacities as directors.

Assuming the insured v. insured clause applies, the court needed to determine whether Russ was “duly elected or appointed” as a director within the meaning of the Policy. While this question was put to the jury and the jury resolved it against plaintiffs, plaintiffs argue in essence that summary judgment should have been granted in their favor.

The insured v. insured exclusion, on its face, exempts from coverage “any” claim brought by, on behalf of, or at the direction of an insured director, unless the claim is employment-related. The exclusion is not limited to claims brought by an insured in his “capacity” as a director.

The Second Circuit’s review indicated that no ambiguity exists in the Policy. The plain meaning of the phrase “duly elected or appointed” in the Policy’s definition of “Directors and Officers” is that directors must be duly selected, by vote or appointment, in accordance with proper procedures.

On its face, the exclusion applies to all claims (except employmentrelated claims) regardless of whether the director brings the claims in an individual or fiduciary capacity. Moreover, the employment-related exception to the exclusion applies only to claims brought by employees – not by consultants, like

Under Nevada law, which the parties agree applies to the bylaws, whether a contract is ambiguous is a question of law that the court may decide on summary judgment. While the bylaws provide that the number of directors was to be determined by the Board “from time to time,” the bylaws do not specify that a

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formal vote was needed to set or change the number. By voting unanimously to appoint Russ as its sixth director, the board implicitly – if not explicitly – “determined,” that it would increase its membership to six. Contrary to plaintiffs’ suggestion, the bylaws reference to “newly-created directorships resulting from any increase in the authorized number of directors,” does not explicitly require more formal action by the board. All of the parties treated Russ as a duly elected or appointed director accordingly the Second Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court. ZALMA OPINION Greed may be good on Wall Street but it has no place in insurance litigation. The policy in this case was clear and unambiguous. The case against the corporation and other directors may have been good since they agreed to large judgments in favor of the plaintiffs as long as the plaintiffs agreed to not collect on those judgments from anyone other than the insurer. Since the insurer owed nothing the tortfeasors walked free from the exposure and the plaintiffs gained nothing giving up their right to collect from the tortfeasors. Greed took away good judgment. www/underwritersinsider.com

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HERE STRANGE “BREATHING ROAD” CAUGHT ON VIDEO AFTER MASSIVE MEXICAN EARTHQUAKE

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NEWS ADVICE TO YOUR CLIENTS: AFTER IRMA, REPORT LOSSES QUICKLY AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM UNLICENSED INDIVIDUALS

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ALLAHASSEE, Fla. – • Notify your insurance company Following the landfall first. Many insurance companies of Hurricane Irma, many have reporting deadlines, so it Floridians are now assessing is important to act quickly. Take their homes and property for steps to make temporary repairs damage and taking that prevent further steps to make damage, but remain temporary repairs to in contact with your prevent additional insurance company damage before filing regarding any insurance claims. outside vendors that CFO Jimmy Patronis are brought in to and Insurance make repairs. Commissioner David Altmaier encourage If you need help Floridians to be locating contact prompt in notifying information for Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis their insurance your insurance companies and cautious of repair company, click here to access the deals that sound too good to be Office of Insurance Regulation’s true. (OIR) directory. Helpline experts working the Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236 can “If an offer sounds too good to be also help Floridians locate their true,itprobablyisandcouldbefraud,” insurance company’s contact said CFO Patronis. “Opportunistic information. scammers may attempt to defraud Floridians following Hurricane Irma, • While making temporary and I encourage all Floridians to be repairs, obtain the licensing or vigilant in guarding against fraud. training credentials of all thirdFloridians should report suspicious party vendors before signing any activity ASAP by calling 1-877-693- work agreements. Beware of fly5236.” by-night repair companies and hire only licensed and reputable Here are the top tips for consumers vendors. Use the Department currently navigating the insurance of Business and Professional claims process: Regulation’s Contractor License OCTOBER 2017

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lookup to make sure all contractors are properly licensed and bonded. Access DBPR’s licensee search here. • Fully review all documentation you are asked to sign and ask questions to make sure you understand the agreements you are signing. Ask specifically who is responsible for paying the vendor, you as the consumer, or your insurance company. For more information about how an assignment of benefits (AOB) for repairs works, visit the DFS “AOB” or Office “AOB Resources” webpages. • If considering the assistance of a public insurance adjuster, ask for identification to verify that the adjuster is licensed. Visit CFO Patronis’ Hurricane Irma Insurance Resources website to verify the license of any Florida insurance agent or adjuster. • Understand how much a public insurance adjuster charges as well as what services are included before signing any contract. • If you suspect fraud or suspicious activity, report it immediately by calling 1-877-693-5236. You concerns will be promptly referred to insurance fraud investigators. www/underwritersinsider.com

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TECHNOLOGY convincing if you don’t know how Upfront Fees: Some fake to watch out for them. companies will require an “activation fee,” or even upfront Mailed Check: In this scam, you costs for “training” and “materials.” apply for a job and get a response. If you’re dying for work, you Your potential employer mails you might convince yourself that this a check. It’ll be made out to you for is normal because you need to your couch? $500 or so. Of course, that should “spend money to make money.” Employment scams are common, be a red flag. Why would they pay Don’t rationalize. Legitimate employers should not require fees. and you don’t have to be jobless to you before you start working? find their offers enticing. Many of their targets are the unemployed Reputable companies won’t do 2. Vacation Scam or underpaid eager for a change of that. But scammers will call you or Many Americans get morose pace. No matter what the location email you to say the mailed check about vacations. They don’t have or time of year, scammers find a was their mistake. They ask you much time off, travel is expensive to wire the funds back to them. needy victim with bills to pay. and complicated, and they’ll only If you fall for it, their bad check return to mountains of unfinished won’t cover the funds so that the This year, I’ve noticed a rise in work, so why bother? two different types of job-related money will come out of your bank scams. These can look very account. See Kim Komando Pg 41 Continued From Page 5

Image Credit: Creative Commons CC0

KIM KOMANDO

Most Scam Attempts Will Arrive Via Your Email

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TECHNOLOGY Continued From Page 40

KIM KOMANDO So when you receive an email about an all-expenses-paid vacation package to Hawaii, you may do a double-take. Did you win some sweepstakes? Have you truly been randomly selected? Is this hotel handing out astonishing promotions?

scams start with someone contacting you, or you respond to an advertisement that you see posted online. The scammer says they’re selling tickets for a band you’ve been following for years or a hot show. They’ll excitedly tell you about the venue and the great value you’re getting.

The tickets aren’t free, but they are theoretically discounted. Once they ask you to wire money or submit credit card information, you may not even know it’s a hoax. Yes, it’s possible to win a vacation, Tickets can be easy to reproduce but if you don’t remember with the right gear. You may not entering a contest, run an online know you’ve been taken until check. If you’ve never heard of you’re turned away at the event the company offering you round- because the tickets were fake. trip flights and luxury resorts, be skeptical. In this case, scammers 4. Moving Scam will initiate contact with you. Late summer is one of the busiest They may call you, send you an times of year to move into a new email or post a vacation package home. Whether you’re a student on Facebook. Then they’ll ask for switching apartments or a parent personal data, like a credit card moving to a better school district, number to “hold the reservation.” you’ll probably find yourself migrating on a sunny weekend in Never give this information away August. unless you know for a fact that the company is legitimate. In the Fake moving companies may call meantime, vacations are healthy you, or drop you an email, or leave and life-affirming, but they are a flyer on your doorstep. In the best handled on your own or ugliest situations, the company through a respected travel agency. will quote a number verbally, move you into your new home, and then Related: Click here on how to use demand far more money than you public Wi-Fi and not get hacked. expected. There are some cases of “movers” packing all your worldly 3. Concert and Theater Scams Similar to vacation scams, these OCTOBER 2017

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TECHNOLOGY Continued From Page 41

KIM KOMANDO possessions into a truck and then driving off with it. Related: Click here for two other scams that are popular on Craigslist. Do not fall for this scam. Most moving companies will offer to come to your home to see how much furniture they’ll need to move. They will give you a written estimate. They are bonded and have insurance. You get the point. Here’s how to stay safe: Check BBB. org to see if the moving company is a reputable business. Then, have the movers come to your house before the move. Ask them for a final estimate before you pay. 5. Owed Money Scam Everybody loves automatic payments because they save time writing checks or looking up charges. But as the years wear on, you may have forgotten to pay up. Cards expire, payments fail to go through, and we forget about them. We may even miscalculate our taxes, resulting in a bill and monthly fine. So when we receive a letter in the mail marked “Urgent: Payment 42

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Requested,” we often think we’ve done something wrong. Did you forget to pay a cable bill in 2007, and should you send a check for $72.89 now? The information is so specific, why should you doubt the letter’s sender? The last thing you want is a collections agency on your tail, so why not just pay the fee and get it over with? In this case, you should make sure the collector is real. It is perfectly reasonable to receive a letter from a collections agency, especially if you’ve moved a lot or are forgetful about paperwork. But before you send any money, spend a few minutes to see whether this company is legit.

In addition to utility refunds and insurance payments, unclaimed property includes abandoned savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler’s checks, trust distributions, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates (in some states), annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, mineral royalty payments and contents of safe deposit boxes. Whew! Click here for 7 ways to find and collect your unclaimed money.

How else can you protect yourself from thieves? Be sure to listen or download my podcasts, or click here to find it on your local radio Speaking of money, there is one station. You can listen to the Kim legitimate way you may get money Komando Show on your phone, back that you totally forgot about. tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click Bonus: No scam! Find your here for my free podcasts. unclaimed money Right now, there’s an estimated $41.7 billion currently held in government unclaimed property programs, and some of that unclaimed money could be yours. Maybe you forgot to get that deposit back from the electric utility when you rented your first apartment. An insurance company may have issued you a refund on a policy but couldn’t find you. You might have been enrolled in a pension plan that was discontinued.

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Copyright 2017, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved. Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando. com OCTOBER 2017


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OCTOBER 2017

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OCTOBER 2017

The Underwriter's Insider October 2017  

America's largest exclusively online insurance magazine, The Underwriter's Insider combines insurance news, politically incorrect politics,...

The Underwriter's Insider October 2017  

America's largest exclusively online insurance magazine, The Underwriter's Insider combines insurance news, politically incorrect politics,...

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